It was a truly packed Lovvang Bowling Center in Aalborg, Denmark for the semi-finals and finals of the Doubles event of the 2012 European Youth Championships, perhaps a record crowd of spectators although the center has hosted many World and European events.
Looking at the girls first, and who would deny that pleasure, the big question was whether England 1’s Hannah Frost and Bethany Hedley could successfully defend the EYC title they won in Munich, Germany last year.
They came up against Denmark 2 in the semi-finals and progressed to the final by defeating the Danes, 450-401, over the one-game battle.
The other semi was Sweden 1 versus Finland 2 and it was the Finns who made short work of their neighbors, taking the advantage, 430-400.
The boy’s semi-finals had Sweden 2 versus Denmark 1 and the Swedes ousted the Danes 429-419the first. The second semi, featuring Sweden 2 against Norway 2 went the Norwegians way, taking their place in the final against Finland 2, 412-359, therefore demoting the Swedes to two bronze medals.
Both finals were run at the same time, which came as a blessing for the huge crowd of spectators as at least one of the matches could be viewed.
Hannah Frost of England, the top woman bowler in the doubles, saved her best game until last by shooting a 260. Partner Hedley came in with 187 and their 447 was more than good enough to take the gold. The Swedes had a creditable 425.
It was a closer match for the boys and all came down to the final balls of the tenth frame before the result of a win for Finland, 391-388, could be announced.
There has been criticism in some circles of the play-offs being introduced for the top four places in these events, but the excitement and splendor of tonight’s finals more than justify the introduction of this feature.